Police officers at the University of Minnesota are on high alert for credit card fraud and phishing after a string of recent incidents involving unauthorized credit card use. They say they have received at least 10 complaints of credit card fraud since last fall. The UMPD says it typically hands those cases over to the Minneapolis Police Department for further investigation.
Although credit card fraud is so commonplace that those affected don’t always bother to report it to police, it can still be an extremely serious legal matter for anyone who is facing charges for using some else’s credit card without authorization.
In fact, because of the interstate issues that are often involved in phishing and credit card fraud cases, these offenses are often prosecuted as federal crimes. This means that defendants will be prosecuted in federal court, and -- if convicted -- they will be sentenced according to federal sentencing guidelines.
When compared with state-level sentencing laws, federal sentences are often far more severe, potentially involving steep fines and lengthy prison sentences that must be carried out at a federal facility.
Because the consequences of conviction can be very serious, it is very important to get help from a skilled defense lawyer when facing charges for a federal crime. An attorney with a strong background in federal criminal defense can fight on the client’s behalf to help minimize any negative consequences of the allegations, and in some cases may even be able to get the charges dropped or reduced.
Source: Minnesota Daily, "University police monitor credit card fraud," Ethan Nelson, July 23, 2014